The Complete James Bond: Dr No – The Classic Comic Strip Collection 1958–60 Review

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Titan Books has released a new publication in the form of The Complete James Bond: Dr. No Classic Comic Strip Collection. Covering the years of 1958 through 1960, this compilation has all of the favorite Bond classics

In this James Bond collection written by Anthony Hearn, Henry Gammidge and Peter O’Donnel based on the stories of Ian Fleming, six stories are brought together and illustrated by John McLusky.

The forward for this particular collection is written by Martin Asbury and describes how the Daily Express ran a daily James Bond comic strip. In the history of the comics there were two illustrators including John McLusky and Yaroslav Horak.

The six specific stories displayed in this collection are:

  • Casino Royale
  • Live and Let Die
  • Moonraker
  • Diamonds Are Forever
  • From Russia with Love
  • Dr. No

 

Casino Royale

This comic strip story was adapted by Anthony Hern and illustrated by John McLusky. Surrounding the story is James Bond (007) being assigned by the Head of British Secret Service M, to bankrupt Le Chiffre. Le Chiffre happens to be the paymaster for the SMERSH controlled trade union. Bankrupting him happens through baccarat at the Royale-les-Eaux casino in France.

In this beautiful comic strip story, the actions in the comics are represented by cards to show a distinction. The comic ran from July 7th 1958 to December 13th 1958.

Live and Let Die

Adapted by Henry Gammidge and illustrated by John McLusky, this second comic strip conversion featured a James Bond that resembled Sean Connery from the movie Dr. No. In this story James Bond is sent to investigate Mr. Big (Buonaparte Ignace Gallia) in New York by M. Mr. Big is an agent of SMERSH and an underworld voodoo leader.

Live and Let Die ran from December 15th 1958 to March 28th 1959 and had a new art style that wasn’t previously in Casino Royale. At the beginning of each comic strip Ian Fleming and John McLusky are listed as author and illustrator.

Moonraker

The Moonraker comic strip was written by Henry Gammidge and also illustrated by John McLusky. While out at M’s club Blades, James Bond helps M in proving that a multi-million dollar businessman named Hugo Drax (a member of SMERSH) is cheating at bridge and winning  though the odds are against him.

This comic strip adaptation ran from March 30th 1959 to August 8th 1959. As the comic strip had developed in Live and Let Die, Ian Fleming and John McLusky are listed at the beginning as illustrator and author.

Diamonds Are Forever

The fourth story in The Complete James Bond Dr. No Collection is Diamonds Are Forever, written by Henry Gammidge and illustrated by John McLusky. In this Bond story, he is sent to infiltrate the diamond smuggling ring that trails from Crown colony of Sierra Leone to the United States. Under the name Peter Franks, Bond meets a gang member named Tiffany Case.

The Diamonds Are Forever comic strip ran from August 10th 1959 to January 30th 1960. The comic features actions and thoughts in squares and verbal in chat bubbles.

From Russia with Love

This comic also featured the written work of Henry Gammidge and the illustrations by John McLusky. In From Russia with Love, James Bond is a target as a death warrant has been listed for him. Corporal Tatiana Romanov is hired to pretend to fall in love with Bond and provide the British with the Russian decoding device, Spektor.

Running from February 3rd 1960 to May 21st 1960, the From Russia with Love comic has all the dignity as the previous editions, and the same Ian Fleming feel.

Dr. No

The Dr. No comic strip was written by Peter O’Donnell and continually illustrated by John McLusky. James Bond is sent to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of Commander John Strangways and his secretary. Bond’s path crosses with Doctor Julius No, who runs a guano mine.

This comic ran from May 23rd 1960 to October 1st 1960 and is the finale of The Complete James Bond Dr. No Collection.

Personal Thoughts

Reading The Complete James Bond Dr. No Collection gave further insight to the wonders that Ian Fleming wrote, but adapted into a comic strip edition. Having the six stories compiled into one book spanning 1958 – 1960 is perfect and one of many that Titan is developing.

I would recommend this compilation to anyone who enjoys reading and watching James Bond memorabilia by Ian Fleming. The comics are beautifully done and having them available all together is perfect.

You can purchase The Complete James Bond Dr. No Collection from Titan Books for $39.95.

Good

  • Beautiful Comics
  • Dialogue and Descriptions are Fantastic
  • Great Length

Bad

  • More Backstory on Comic Strips Would Be Good
9.8

Amazing

Quality of Comic Strips - 10
Length of Book - 9.5
Story Quality - 9.5
Connection to Movies and Novels - 10
An avid gamer, journalist, literary reviewer, and lover of all things Marvel; wrapped in a colorful hair-do.

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